Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells cooked in a glass 9x13 dish topped with cheese and sauce

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Pasta shells are stuffed with a ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and spinach mixture. Then are baked in the oven with marinara sauce and more cheese. This is a great vegetarian dinner.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword spinach and ricotta pasta, stuffed shells, vegetarian pasta dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 7 servings
Author Susie


  • 8 oz jumbo shells about 20 shells
  • 1 jar marinara 24-26 oz
  • 1 egg
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese divided
  • 6 oz frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained of liquid - see note below
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes more if you like it spicy


Preheat the oven to 350

  • Boil the jumbo shells according to package directions for al dente (should be about 7 minutes). They will continue to cook in the oven, so don't over cook while boiling.
  • While the shells cook, make the ricotta & spinach filling. In a large bowl beat 1 egg, add the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Using your hands or a clean kitchen towel squeeze the liquid out of the thawed spinach, see note below. Do not skip this step or your recipe will be a watery mess.
    Crumble the drained spinach into the cheese mixture. Stir to combine, making sure the spinach is incorporated throughout the filling. Set aside.
  • In a 9x13 pan spread half the marinara evenly over the bottom.
  • Using a spoon fill the boiled and cooled pasta shells to the top with the ricotta mixture. Lay them in rows on top of the marinara in the 9x13 pan.
  • Pour the remaining marinara over top of the shells. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Thawed Spinach Note: Two great ways to get ALL the liquid out of your thawed spinach. Do not skip this step!
  1. Put the thawed spinach in a fine mesh sieve and press it against the sides until you cannot get anymore water out.
  2. Wrap the thawed spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring the water out of the spinach until the water stops leaking out.